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Which chipping method for high handicapper?


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I want to work on improving my chipping. I'm looking to improve my score by reducing 3-putts. This is happening because I'm typically very far from the pin once on the green.

I have taken lessons, read a bunch of stuff on the web, and read a couple of books.  It seems like I've come across 2 main schools of thought. The first is to almost always use the same club, typically a pitching wedge, and practice using that club for different distances. The more you use it, the better you get by improving your estimate as how hard to hit it to get close to the pin.

The second method is to use different clubs, typically a 7,8,9, or PW and use these to carry the ball to the edge of the green, and then let the ball roll toward the pin, with the different clubs causing a different ratio that the ball is in the air vs. roll.

I'm seeking opinions as to which (if either) method is preferable for a high handicapper to use to start getting closer to the pin. Which do you use, and why?

Thanks all, and happy New Year.

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Speaking from my experience, I started out using SW for everything.   Then, I adopted "second method."  I don't think one has huge advantage over the other.  Today, I use both methods at will.   The 2nd method is easier in that it does not require as much practice as the 1st one.  Practice with one club to cover multiple distances with other clubs.   But it may be inconvenient in that you have to measure distance, and carry multiple clubs near green.   It's not an issue if you carry your bag.  But if you are using cart, and you don't have the exact club with you, you have to ad lib.

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Here's a great thread from @mvmac ........

http://thesandtrap.com/t/70998/chipping-with-a-putting-method

Edits to say that Erik beat me too it. And yeah, everyone knows that I'll always recommend a dedicated chipper too. ;-)
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You could listen to the experts above, or get a niblick - which doubles as a great club to take full shots out of the rough.

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You could listen to the experts above, or get a niblick - which doubles as a great club to take full shots out of the rough.

Otherwise known as a chipper?   When I bought my wife a chipper, she became good at chipping in very short time.

Putt chipping method is good, too.   I use it with 9i (7i for longer ones).

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Otherwise known as a chipper?   When I bought my wife a chipper, she became good at chipping in very short time.

Putt chipping method is good, too.   I use it with 9i (7i for longer ones).

A niblick is much more than a chipper - full shots can be made with it and it cuts through rough like butter.

It does kind of suck on courses with rolling hills short of the green.

I personally use it more out of the rough than i do chipping. But I do putt with it when on the fringe.

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I'm seeking opinions as to which (if either) method is preferable for a high handicapper to use to start getting closer to the pin. Which do you use, and why?

I've subscribed to the multi-club approach on chipping.  Here are a couple of Greg Norman online tips....

Start here:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson36.php

Then remember this:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson40.php

Finally, use this tip:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson41.php

The reason that I use this method is that  I have less muffed or skulled chips and often have a chance at a short putt or a tap-in for par.

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I've subscribed to the multi-club approach on chipping.  Here are a couple of Greg Norman online tips....

Start here:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson36.php

Then remember this:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson40.php

Finally, use this tip:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson41.php

The reason that I use this method is that  I have less muffed or skulled chips and often have a chance at a short putt or a tap-in for par.

I didn't read your links but I am also a firm believer in the multi-club approach. Different clubs yield different roll out and it doesn't take a lot of practice to understand what each of your clubs will do. I like to attempt to get the same carry with all my chips and let the different lofts dictate how far it will roll after landing. I generally use anything from a 60* up to an 8 or even 7 iron depending on how much roll out I need. Works for me.

YMMV.

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You might want to consider a few things. Using a lower lofted club is easier to chip with around the greens especially using the putting technique. Also depends on how much time you have to devote to practicing. I used to game with a pitching wedge and practice with higher lofted wedges until i got enough practice with them. I still find myself using a PW in the colder months when the grass gets thin around the greens. People tend to try and get the edge of the higher lofted cubs under the ball and end up blading or chunking their shot. PW has enough loft to check the ball on the greens while still having enough face to get good contact with the ball.

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I've subscribed to the multi-club approach on chipping.  Here are a couple of Greg Norman online tips....

Start here:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson36.php

Then remember this:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson40.php

Finally, use this tip:

http://www.shark.com/sharkwatch/instruction/lesson41.php

The reason that I use this method is that  I have less muffed or skulled chips and often have a chance at a short putt or a tap-in for par.

I didn't read your links but I am also a firm believer in the multi-club approach. Different clubs yield different roll out and it doesn't take a lot of practice to understand what each of your clubs will do. I like to attempt to get the same carry with all my chips and let the different lofts dictate how far it will roll after landing. I generally use anything from a 60* up to an 8 or even 7 iron depending on how much roll out I need. Works for me.

YMMV.

I just read the links and the 3rd link is exactly how I approach the chip shot. I believe that @MS256 has the same approach and is a really good chipper. Why make it more difficult? Practice controlling your carry and let the club do the rest. I have had great success with the "law of 12", subtract the number of the club from 12 to get your approximate ratio IE: an 8iron would be 12-8=4 so your 8 iron should roll 4 times further than your carry - 1 yard of carry yields 4 yards of roll on a reasonably flat putting green. You may need to experiment if you have new "jacked loft" irons but an afternoon of experimenting should make your ratios pretty clear. Just make sure to account for downhill or uphill slopes just as you would with a putt. Also, you should check out @mvmac post about chipping as it will help yield even more consistency with contact than taking your normal short game grip.

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A method that helped me a lot bring my handicap down was to find the club that would carry half way to the hole and roll the rest. I liked this method as it's easy to estimate half way on the course. Just get a tee on the practice green and mark half way to the hole from where your chipping from and try a few different clubs to land at the tee and roll out to the hole (mine was a 9 iron) I use a steady putting action to be consistent. If it's a downhill just land it shorter and up hill carry a little further. Once I had this pretty good I then practiced carrying a lob wedge to the hole, with both these shots you can tackle any situation. The main thing I found as my handicap was coming down was commitment to the shot was really important. Consider what you are doing then do it and if you've worked it out wrong that's fine, you'll work it better next time. I cost myself a lot of shots early on with doubts in my mind, pulling out of a shot on the way down only to guarantee a poor strike and to come up way short. Hope that helps
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I advocate for using different clubs for chipping.  On tight lies I use a 26 degree hybrid with a putting grip and putt with it.  But for other lies I use either a 6, 7, or 8 iron depending upon how far off he green I am and how far I need the ball to run.

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Like so many things in golf, there isn't a simple black and white correct answer.  For me, it was to learn to use my lob wedge for everything to begin with.  Why?  Because, there are times when you will have to use what I call a "pitch" shot (a fairly high shot, that lands not far from the target and doesn't roll out a lot.)  For example, when you are close to the green, and the pin is close to you on the green, but there is an inconveniently placed sand trap in between.  You really just can't do the "bump and run" type "chip" from that spot.  And the shot is actually pretty similar if you are IN the trap.

I mostly pitch to this day, though I have learned to chip and use a sort of lob wedge based chip shot for those real short ones I don't want to putt for whatever reason (usually some obstruction or too thick/gnarly grass).

I vote you start with learning to hit pitch shots with your highest lofted wedge since it can't be avoided sometimes.  It's a shot you need.  Then move on to chipping and see if you love it, a lot of people do, and it's a shot we should all have in reserve at the least.

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Im a believer in using many clubs to chip with.  You can do it with 1 club but IMO, it takes more practice to be consistent with it.  As for the idea of getting a Niblick, Im fine with using a chipper if it helps you but instead of blowing $100+ on a hyped up chipper, just save yourself some money and buy a cheap one for $20.  The Niblick doesnt do anything that any other chipper cant do.

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